The BBC has struck a rare gold in Peaky Blinders. While recent dramas have lacked in triumph, this 6-part drama has lived up to its promised potential brilliantly.
Following a gripping penultimate episode, I was cautious in my expectations for a satisfying finale as it seemed there was maybe too much to round up in just 60 minutes viewing time. Thankfully, I was wrong and the series was left on cliff-hanging note with viewers waiting for what’s next.
For a gang who in reality were razor wielding criminals, the Peaky Blinders were portrayed in the series as a group strained by war and family misfortune at a time where the lower classes of England were struggling for some hope. The drama was elegant as it was dark and poignantly messy, and anti-hero and tortured protagonist Cillian Murphy proved his brilliance in his craft as leader of the pack Tommy Shelby.
As the tension of the impending gang war mounted, there was a moment of unease in which I found myself reluctant to keep watching in fear of the fate of Tommy; not least out of empathy for the character, but in the concern that, should anything happen to him, a second series is definitely off the cards.
The affair between the guarded Tommy and undercover cop Grace (Annabelle Wallace) was rounded off brilliantly, as it was that aspect of the show that caused us to fall for Shelby. Plagued by war, the head of the Blinders’ guard was up from the off point as an early episode proved in dialogue between the pair.
Grace: “I warn you, I’ll break your heart.” Tommy: “Already broken.”
There was a touching moment in last night’s show between Grace and Shelby’s Aunt Polly, in which we are allowed a glimpse of the true character of Tommy Shelby and what captured the true sadness of the First World War that plagued Britain for so long afterward.
Grace: “What was he like, before France?” Polly: “He laughed.”
The finale has left things wide open for the relationship between criminal Shelby and Birmingham’s chief police officer Sam Neill, who spectacularly rose and fell from the top spot throughout the series. The rejection from Grace turned the supposedly moral and good willing policeman into an angry and bitter failure who, despite his successes in getting the guns he came for, actually has been left with nothing.
The series has proved a success for the BBC, not just in the acting talents but in visuals too. A modern twist on the soundtrack and a dapper wardrobe to boot, the Peaky Blinders has reached the brilliance we were promised and left viewers willing for a second season with a touching and satisfying finale.